August 12, 1923 – April 25, 2019
Calvin George Winter, 95, of Champaign, Illinois, died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on April 25, 2019, at the home of his daughter, Debby White.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at the Rose Hill Community Church in Rose Hill, Illinois. A lunch will be served at noon, followed by the service at 1:30 p.m.
Calvin was born to Robert and Dessa Winter in Rose Hill, Illinois, on August 12, 1923. Calvin was part of a large family that included six siblings-Ruth Hampton, Roy Winter, Rex Winter, Zona Winter, Homer Winter, and Norma Goodwin.
During his life, he would have many adventures, including active duty in the Army on the battlefields of World War II. An expert rifleman, he served as a truck driver and participated in the battle of Rhineland and the campaign to liberate central Europe, earning many awards and distinctions. Though he saw the world at its worst, he remained a small-town boy who always saw people at their best, and gladly returned to the quiet calm of Illinois once the war was over.
A graduate of Colorado A & M, Calvin was an engineer with the Illinois Central Railraod for more than 40 years. He was well-respected by his fellow railroaders and enjoyed reconnecting with many of them in his later years.
On a blind date, he met Mary Margaret Stevenson of Champaign, whom he married on June 11, 1949. Until her passing earlier this year, the two were inseparable, enjoying travels all over the U. S. and Canada. Together, they welcomed the arrival of two daughters, Laurie and Debby. In 1975, they moved their family from Champaign back to Calvin's birthplace of Rose Hill, where he owned a farm. The soil was in his blood, and he always managed to put in a crop, even while working full time on the railroad.
In addition to farming and working on the railroad, Calvin was a member of University Christian Church in Champaign and Rose Hill Community Church, where he sang in the choir and was involved in other church activities.
Calvin was a gentle soul who was most at home outdoors or working in his barns. He loved people. He loved to laugh. And he loved to make people laugh. He also had an affinity for birds. He had a pet crow as a kid and later raised peacocks, guinea and chickens. The family home was specifically situated for birdwatching, and he knew many by their song, including his two parakeets, Freddie and Frannie.
Calvin is survived by his daughters, Laurie Haack or Rose Hill and Debby Winter of Champaign; three grandchildren, Mary Ramirez, Janna Foster and Amber Kerns; fiver great-grandchildren; a sister, Norma Goodwin; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Margaret, and one grandson, George Robert Simmers.
Calvin was amazing husband, loving and patient father, and beloved grandfather. He is dearly missed by all those whose lives he shaped with his humor, kindness and love.